Quebec reaches agreement with dentists to provide care covered by RAMQ

The last deal expired in 2015.

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Quebec has managed to reach an agreement with the province’s dental surgeons for services covered by the public plan, seven years after the last one expired.

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The president of the Treasury Board, Sonia LeBel, announced Friday through a press release that a new agreement has been reached between the government and the Association des chirurgiens dentists du Québec (ACDQ), which represents 4,300 dental surgeons. The last deal expired in April 2015.

It is through this agreement that children under the age of 10 and people receiving social assistance can receive free dental care under the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec.

No details about the content of the deal, which has yet to be presented to members, have been shared. The main topic during the negotiations referred to the recognition of the operating costs of dental clinics. According to information obtained by Presse Canadienne, the issue is included in the agreement, but has not been resolved to the full satisfaction of the dentists.

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The conflict caused 1,400 dentists to withdraw from the public dental plan in mid-February 2020, just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The withdrawal did not deprive beneficiaries of free dental care, but it did cause administrative headaches for RAMQ. A month later, on March 18, 2020, the 1,400 dentists re-entered the public plan so as not to cause problems within the network when the first wave of the pandemic began.

In Friday’s press release, LeBel said she was “very pleased with this mutually satisfactory agreement for the parties.”

He welcomed the efforts of dental surgeons to reach a conclusion.

“Our dentists are important and ensure access to quality care and services for all Quebec citizens,” he said.

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ACDQ President Dr. Carl Tremblay issued a brief comment via email: “At the end of… arduous years of negotiating with the government regarding a framework agreement that has expired since April 2015, we finally have in our hands a proposal that we can introduce our members at our next general assembly.”

Tremblay also wanted to underscore the dedication of ACDQ members in continuing to provide care to beneficiaries for seven years despite the absence of an agreement.

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